tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC December 19, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PST
good amorning, i'm in for melissa. until yesterday, few expected there to be much of an interest, after all, the debate is up against college football games, the new "star wars" magazine. and it's the saturday before christmas. there have even been discussions of the debate being headed under a proverbial push was by design. the dnc denies that claim. that hasn't stopped people from floating the notion. tonight's debate could actually be a real throw down. after a showdown between bernie sanders and the dnc. the dispute erupted after staffers for sanders obtained access to sensitive information from hillary clinton's camp during a software glitch with the party's critical voter file. information essential to get out the vote efforts. the sanders campaign fired its top data staffer but he insisted he did not download any of the
data. >> i did not download any data. i did look -- the only thing i looked at was making sure it was not our data. and the way i did that could be considered a download but it didn't give us anything useful. >> the dnc responded by denying the sanders campaign had any access to the voter database including their own data. prompting the sanders campaign to file a federal lawsuit against the dnz. accusing party leaders trying to sabotage the sanders campaign inorder to help hillary clinton. then last night the dnc agreed to restore the sanders campaigns data access. this is all very complicated and could make for a very combative night. msnbc's alex joins us from new hampshire site of tonight's debate. tell us why this is important and how you think it might affect tonight's debate. >> this voter data is critical
to any complain. once it was shut off, staffers told me it was a death sentence if it would have continued. it would have prevented any knocking on doors, calling on people, running their volunteer operation. they were worried if this shutoff continues, they would be in a deep hole. at the same time, the clinton campaign says, wait a minute, this is an act of theft. you broke into the system or you exploited a vulnerability to take our data we spent millions of dollars assembling. so both sides here have strong claims, very inpassioned supporters that have bred a lot of resentment. even though this ended as quickly as it ended, regarding the lawsuit that was filed, there's a lot more acrimony heading into tonight's debate than we expected.
we expected talk about foreign policy, maybe other issues. but this overshadows everything. the sanders and clinton campaigns have been throwing very sharp accusations at each other and the dnc, which is supposed to referee this, has been stuck in the middle. so going forward, there could be a lot of distrust, joy. >> all right, thank you. now, i want to bring in the vice chair of the national democratic committee. he's joining me now from minneapolis. and thank you for being here. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> i know there has been an agreement, but as of right now, does the sanders campaign have access to their data? >> yes, and the good news is we have three candidates ready to debate and three campaigns fanning out against iowa, new hampshire, all the country, with their data. the goal of the dnc is have a level playing field.
and it's really important when people are talking about data and all the complex issues behind it, this began not as a hack by a campaign, it began as a error by a vendor of the dnc, and that's really important to start with. what happened then is that for a short period of time, all campaigns had accession to all the other's data for voters, not for fund-raising. that wasn't part of this. during that period of time, somehow someone from the sanders campaign accessed some information from the clinton campaign. that's the core of the issue. the dnc is about a level playing field. so our goal was to make sure while we long term looked at how that happened and how that can ever happen again. short term, we got access back to all campaigns as quickly as we could. we could only do that once we were clear that information that was acquired then didn't give anyone an unfair advantage. >> i want to stop you -- >> -- last night and we're
moving forward -- >> i want to stop you because you said it started with an error with the vendor. rpg van is the one whose error produced this. you said the dnc's about a level playing field. i want to redo a tweet that david axelrod did that reflects what people are saying. he says without evidence his hierarchy knew about data poaching, the harsh penalty. if the error was by the vendor, why such a draconian punishment against the sanders campaign? >> well, you know, this is extremely important. when you go into a campaign office these days, obviously what you see are people combing over computers, volunteers. all of that is the most important element of the campaign. you have to be careful with this. if you're a campaign and you felt the information you had was now in the hands of somebody else, you'd take it very seriously. this was a complex issue.
>> really quickly. a lot of people -- what a lot of people are saying is the dnc is on hillary clinton's side, favors the clinton campaign and is not a neutral arbiter between the two. how do you respond to that? >> i understand that. that's a concern. that's why all of us vice chairs representing various parts of party came together with the chair yesterday morning, talked those issues through. it's really important also for people to know that people like me, who have been part of insurgent campaigns when obama or dean or bill bradley or something was part of that and you feel like you're up against the establishment, we need to have that voice at the table too. so that's why -- i was just on -- >> well, do you feel that the chair favors the hillary clinton campaign? >> i think the chair's job is to be fair. i think the job of all us vice chairs is to make sure that happens. we have really robust conversations about what balance
is. it's not easy. i need people to know there's a group of people who are part of the leadership of the dnc. and i will make damn sure as a vice chair and so will others that we do everything humanly possible to have a level playing field. i'm not neutral in this election. i am euphoric about these candidates. we're going to do everything humanly possible to do it. when people think something's unfair, bring it to us and we'll do our very best. >> thank you for your time. joining me now is perry bacon jr., nbc news senior political reporter. all right, perry, you just heard the vice chair of the dnc, said they're doing everything in their power to prevent the appearance of fairness. but a lot of supporters say the dnc is not neutral, that they favor hillary clinton and quite frankly sanders isn't even a
democrat. is there a perception the dnc is not neutral? >> if you listen, when you ask the vice chair, is wasserman schultz neutral, he kind of ducked the question. you have the voice chairs themselves have been very concerned about wasserman schultz, she's for hillary. the big thing is the candidates had five debates. lots of hype, lots of attention. the democrats are now having their third debate. so two less. and the second one on a saturday. it sure seems like there's an effort here intentional or unintentional to make sure people don't watch the debates as much as the democratic side. and that of course does favor the favorite, hillary clinton. there's a legitimate argument if you're a sanders supporter, maybe he's not getting -- i think the data issue is different in some ways from the debate issue. with the debate issue, it's very important. the debates are a way to shape the primary in a lot of ways.
it's really hard for sanders to make a big impact. >> barry, just explain for the view thors. because that argument has been made over and over again. that not having a lot of debates favors hillary clinton. explain for the viewers why having fewer debates and why hiding the debates at, you know, low viewership times would favor hillary clinton. >> first of all, these debates, you're talking about 25 million people have watched some of the biggest republican debates. i don't have the numbers from the last one, but the last one was on a saturday and it had a much, much smaller audience. a lot of democratic voters really don't know, bernie sanders has fairly low name i.d. versus hillary clinton has been known in the public since 1992. she has a much higher name i.d. one of the big challenges if you're running for office is getting people to know you better. by having two debates on
saturday and one where people are christmas shopping and college football games are going on, it's hard for voters to get to know you. the debates in 2007 really helped establish obama. hillary's great in debates. but the debates in '07 helped obama illustrate he was a competent candidate who knew the issues well. hillary also made a big mistake in that debate in terms of talking about immigration. the cable news coverage is not as high. this is an advantage for hillary if the debates don't change the status quo very much. >> very quickly, perry, does this controversy, which is being called bernie gate, does it hurt bernie sanders image with voters? >> i don't think it does. i don't think this -- i think the polls show if the candidate who voters tend not to trust, even democrats, is hillary
clinton. i think sanders people think is sincere in his beliefs. their question is not is he cheating but is he able to win the general election. tonight, you got to watch for him to see if he can talk about foreign policy in a more coherent way than he has in the past. >> we know this controversy will probably be question one in the debate tonight. perry bacon jr. in washington, thank you very much. up next, the wartime president. suddenly it seems everyone has a plan to be one. 'm not 22. i accept i'm not the rower i used to be. i even accept i have a higher risk of stroke due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve problem. but i won't accept is getting out there with less than my best. so if i can go for something better than warfarin, i will. eliquis. eliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus it had significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis had both.
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war. and making the case for why they would make the best wartime president. >> america's at war. >> we are at war. that's why i ask congress, go ahead and declare the war. we need to be on a war footing. >> we're at war. they've declared war on us. >> we're at war, folks. they're not trying to steal your car, they're trying to kill us all. >> we are at war. >> we have entered world war iii. world war iii has begun. >> at the republican debate this week, each candidate was asked how they would fight and win what's being called the, quote, war of our time against isis and other terrorist threats. most claim they would be more aggressive than president obama has been. >> i think if we truly are sincere about defeating terrorism, we need to quit arming the allies of isis. >> we need to destroy isis in the caliphate which means we need to have a no-fly zone, safe zones there for refugees and build a military force. >> we need to use overwhelming air power.
we need to be arming the kurds. we need to be fighting and killing isis where they are. >> air strikings are a key component of defeating them but they must be defeated on the ground by a ground force. >> we have to be much stronger than we've been. >> we need to have a coalition that will stand for nothing less than the total destruction of isis and we have to be the leader. >> we must commit leadership, strength, support and resolve. >> we have to destroy their caliphate because that gives them a legitimacy to go ahead with the global jihad. >> we need to focus our attention on iran. if you miss iran, you're not going to get isis. >> democratic front-runner hillary clinton also weighed in this week, giving a speech specifically about how she would fight the war against isis. >> defeat isis in the middle east by smashing its strong hold, hitting its fighters, leaders and infrastructure from the air, and intensifying support for local forces who can
pursue them on the ground. >> meanwhile, president obama spoke this week at the pentagon at the national counterterrorism center and at the white house to make the case that we are already fighting the best war we can against the so-called islamic state. >> we're going to defeat isis. and we're going to do so by systemically squeezing them, cutting off their supply lines, cutting off their financing, taking out their leadership, taking out their force, taking out their infrastructure. >> and joining me now is malcolm nance, executive director of the terrorism asymmetrics project and defeating isis who they are, how they fight, what they believe. hillary mann leave receipt, former state department and white house staffer who has served in u.s. embassies across the middle east. the editor and publisher of "the nation" magazine. and molly o'toole, politics reporter for defense one.
thank you and good morning to everyone. i want to start at this end of the table and go through some of the strategies that we've heard from republican would be commanders in chief to combat isis/is isis/isil/daish. >> you could carpet bomb where isis is. you use air power directed. you have imbedded special forces. you have the object not to level a city but the object is kill the isis terrorists. >> would it be effective? can you carpet bomb isis and not a city? >> one thing we learned about vietnam, if it was just about carpet bomb, never mind, it is a war crime, but if it's just carpet bombing, we would have been victorious. and we failed. those were abject failures.
in places in the middle east where we tried this massive bombing and killing, all that brought about is bigger, stronger, resolution organizations that hate america even more, even more determined to get us. this is a recipe for proven failure. >> let's go on to senator rand paul. rand paul and donald trump both debating the idea of whether or not the right strategy is to kill the families of terrorists. let's listen. >> if you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there's something called the geneva convention we are going to have to pull out of. it defies every norm that is america. so they can kill us but we can't kill them. that's what you're saying. >> okay, mall comb. it's sort of heartening that at that debate rand paul got applause for what he was saying,
for the geneva convention. the idea of getting back at daish fighters by killing their families, how effective would that be? >> you know, there's an arabic for this, it's majnoon, it's crazy. i'm telling you as an intelligence officer, this is not who we are. we do not go out and deliberately kill civilians. the idea it was spoken on a stage, the global stage, isis is going to be using this as recruiting all over the middle east. and it makes our allies wonder what is going on back in the united states. it's against the law, against u.s. code, uniform code of military justice, the geneva conventions, just about every treaty signed since the birth of america, not going to happen. >> what does it mean we're actually in a serious debate about foreign policy, one of the the two major political parties actually discussing ideas, both
of which are war crimes under the geneva convention? >> suggesting that is a serious debate is another question entirely. i think what it shows, this is more about the politics, it's more about the rhetoric. if we look at it from a military strategic standpoint, it's not remotely realistic. people using bluster to cover for their lack of experience in this area. >> i think one other person that is attempting to show they have the experience and have the smarts and the know-how is chris christ christie. i want to ask katrina just about what this means that we are debating these issues that i think the rest of the world looks at and is probably aghast. trying to win an election by painting america as a loser. by wild cub ♪ ♪ ♪
yes, we would shoot down the planes of russian pilots if, in fact, they were stupid enough to think this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the oval office is right now. >> now we have the chris christie solution, which is essentially start a war with russia because it would predict american strength. >> imagine, it's world war iii. imagine if this man was president during the cuban missile crisis. the larger question behind this, joy, is what we're witnessing today is an important moment because the u.n. security council has just passed a resolution driving a peace process to resolve the conflict in syria. i believe the only resolution is a political one. it's one that, as i write in "the nation" in a piece called "coalition or cold war with russia," it demands partnership with russia. doesn't demand this kind of reckless bluster. we've seen partnership with russia drive a deal with iran. it led to syria dismantling its chemical weapons. the myopia in the political
establishment in this country about russia is very dangerous. i might add in a bipartisan approach. senator hillary clinton is for a no-fly zone. according to administration sources, that would demand 200 u.s. aircraft. this is not a foreign policy. this say freak show, these kinds of proposals, and very dangerous for national security, very dangerous for resolving the crises that afflict this world today, including the syrian refugee crisis that is flowing out of its civil war. >> in the break, you were talking about the anwar al lackey example and the killing of suspected relatives of terrorists means to foreign policy. >> donald trump puts this out as his own idea. we tried that. we killed anwar al awlaki and his 16-year-old son and president touted it as a success. now every terror incident traces back to him, they watch anwar al
awlaki videos. we know it creates more terrorists than it kills. we know that. >> while we're on the subject of the ideas of how to fight this war of terrorism against isis, you have on the one hand these attempts to show that americans would be stronger by going back to some policies that defy the geneva convention. on the other hand, we have the way these candidates talk about the united states. let's contrast that with the past. with the way the presidents typically opt to talk about the challenges facing the country. they would say america will overcome the throw. stand strong and resolution and never be cowed by our enemies. >> as long as the united states of america is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror this will be an age of liberty here and across the world. >> our greatest allies in this fight are each other. americans of all faith, all backgrounds. and when americans stand together, nothing can beat us.
>> to say nothing of we have nothing to fear but fear itself. let's listen to how some recent presidential wanna bes have been chose ton talk about the very same subject. >> our country doesn't win any more. we don't win on trade. we don't win on the military. we can't defeat isis. >> so we have candidates who were talking about taking actions that for a long of candidates would seem to be not legal inner its of international law but at the same time talking about america as fundamentally weak. >> there does seem to be this contradiction between this bluster of, i would be tougher, no, i would be tougher. the sort of arms race of rhetor rhetoric. also the suggestion that americans should be afraid. there seems to be a contradiction there. it does represent the idea of american weakness. at the same time, as they hit the obama administration. claim that they don't have a strategy. constantly reinforce this narrative of a weak president, a
feckless president. we hear that language being used sort of across the field. there does seem to be a contradiction. >> fear and hatred have never made a great nation. i think of the 75th anniversary of roosevelt's great speech coming this january. freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech and religion. these people want to -- they know what hatred, fearmongering does to a nation. it depletes its very best values. so i think we need to fight that. at the same time, joy, i think one problem is what's lost in all this when people talk about obama leading from behind. i mean there is a bipartisan assumption that we are the indispensable nation who will police the world. we deplete the very real security our country needs. >> the united states does have an overwhelming military force we can bring to bear if we so choose. there is i think a pocket of american bleach we are restraining ourselves from using that overwhelming force to defeat a force we could defeat,
isis. >> let's step back and to a little history here. this is one of the things i think is absent in the united states. we have a bad case of amnesia. we invaded iraq in 2003. we had a combat force. a massive combat force of 125,000 men, which cut through all resistance within three weeks like a sythe, all right. now, i fought every war in the middle east and let me tell you something, that was an overwhelming piece of force. however, we occupied that country for eight years. we took 4,686 dead soldiers. there's a number no one remembers. people fought and they died for this operation. and it was not in vain. however, it did create this enemy we're fighting now. this is al qaeda in iraq generation five. they know and they want us back in there. the question is how are we going to do it smart, do it like we did last time. >> look at the alternative. instead of going to the pentagon, president obama could have come here to new york, to the u.n., to the security
council, when they passed this resolution yesterday, and stood for international resolve, for diplomatic engagement, for a political solution to these problems. the nearly 5,000 american soldiers killed in iraq are tragic. but the hundreds of thousands killed across the muslim world is what helped spur -- >> hillary is so right. our media, too often, defines solutions in military ways. we've lost sight of diplomatic smart solutions. let's hope we hear some tonight in the democratic -- >> we'll hear more from this panel. everybody, stay with me. lots and lots of thoughts. for all of those who would be a wartime president, the plan to win that war online.
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is it keeps the food out. for me before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. super poligrip is part of my life now. by day, they must stay warm. challenges to the feet. but by night, beautiful, smoother and ready to impress the other party animals. dr. scholl's dreamwalk express pedi isis is not only fighting with guns and bombs but also with hash tags and viral memes. as they spread their ideology
far and wide using social media. the fight against the islamic state has to happen not only in iraq and syria but also in cyber space. malcolm, the united states is fighting this sort of asymmetrical fight, right? you have the physical sort of fight against them to diminish their numbers. you also have this incredible battle that's taking place behind the scenes, online. where they seem to have the upper hand. >> i would really like to see that incredible battle that's taking place in cyberspace. i see a one-sided slaughter that's going on by isis. they own the cyberspace at this moment. >> talk about what they're doing specifically. >> they've learned to harness social media. the way al qaeda used cassette tapes and pamphlets in the '80s. these guys have harnessed vine and twitter. this involves speaking about islam.
in terms of using technology, we have a billion dollar psychological operations budget in the department of defense. they're not involved. we have an information warfare operations in either branch of the armed forces. they're not involved. there should be thousands of people in a world war ii style effort to knock down and take down all of these websites and all of the materials coming out. >> we tried that a bit and there was a limited success. when president obama first came into office, he said he was going to have a different relationship with the muslim world. he went to cairo, to ankara, to give speeches about reengaging the muslim world. he said it wasn't a fight against muslims. you know what happened in the public opinion polling data in the middle east, the hatred and resentment of the united states went down. since he began again, in terms of drone warfare, surge more troops into afghanistan, the numbers reporting hatred, documenting hatred of the united states, went sky high. so we know the problem is ideas.
if we're selling something about having a productive constructive relationship with the muslim world, muslims buy that. if we sell we're just going to kill you more and kill your relatives this don't buy that. >> it's not as if we lack technically savvy americans that can get into this digital fight. you have groups like anonymous involved that are using ridicule to attack isis. we've got the savvy. why aren't we able to engage? >> it's a few different things. you pointed out the rhetoric is really important. this is why messaging is important. however unrealistic some suggestions might be as a military strategy, the message it gives is important. the obama administration has emphasized this. while they are kind of combating that in the digital space when you talk about this war of ideas, when you hear this sort of language it reinforces isis propaganda. for example, the vice chair of the joint chiefs of staff sort of responed when cruz's carpet
bombing was brought up. when you look at the digital space, so the obama administration is sort of trying to counter the rhetoric within our own country as well as taking on islamic state in that space. but it's still an administration approach. it's not really tapping into the innovation of the industry that we have. you know, you need multiple officials to approve a single tweet. if that's what you were operating under as opposed to the islamic state, the pace and the scale is just dramatically different. >> we can talk about messaging. we can talk about tweets. but i think it's important as hillary alluded to to talk about the reality on the ground as well. if the face of america for children in these towns, for women, families, is drones, the resentment, the anger, is going to fool and ignite more terrorism. i think the other piece of this is there's an attempt now, after paris, san bernardino, to roll
back encryption into essentially blame edward snowden. i think this is folly. i think our intelligence agencies have too much data, not too little, to collect. and we should look at the policies which led to the failure into terrorism and not to blame encryption for abetting terrorism. >> it just so happens that is where we are going next. because the question is, can the united states fight a war in which it has its hands tied behind its back because it has no access, no data, no information? when we come back, is big tech pushing back against the government? today people are coming out to the nation's capital to support an important cause that can change the way you live for years to come. how can you help? by giving a little more, to yourself. i am running for my future. people sometimes forget to help themselves. the cause is retirement, and today thousands of people came to race for retirement and pledge to save an additional one percent of their income. if we all do that we can all win.
(phone ringing) you can't deal with something by ignoring .t but that's how some presidential candidates seem to be dealing with social security.
americans work hard and pay into it, so our next president needs a real plan to keep it strong. (elephant noise) (donkey noise) hey candidates! answer the call already. we're talking about the asymmetric war against isis. i want to ask about this question of using the tools available to us in terms of things like inception, in terms of things like data gathering and big data. should we be using it or should we walk away from it?
>> i have some experience with this. one of the things most people don't understand from the snowden revelations is you've been given access into classified programs most people don't know about. these things have been going on since 112 when the army security agency did it. one thing that does happen at ft. meade that you don't know is we do not target american citizens without a warrant. people will say, you have the system, you can go out and do that. capability does not mean we are wasting assets on that. i know the national security agency is overwhelmed with its foreign language targets. we don't have time for the american public. and for the most part, it's all going to company down to a human being who's going to have to process that intelligence. they have to work out legislation so we can collect. for the most part, the american people need to know what snowden did was release programs which were helping us target people
overseas who really needed to be neutralized. >> if we can't use big data to try to figure out who terror suspects are talking to, if we're saying it's not a good idea to go in and use force to bomb isis targets, have we left ourselves no other option to fight this group which, by the way is homicidal and genocidal, particularly against fellow muslims? >> when obama came into office, the talk in washington, the talk all over the united states, was how much do you bomb iran? how big is the ordnance you can drop? two years later, obama changed the rhetoric. secretary kerry canninged the rhetoric. pursued diplomacy. now nobody's talking about bombing iran. the bad one is anwr awlaki, he went from being someone who used
to go to the pentagon to brief. he wanted to be the bridge between the united states and the muslim world. explain muslim to americans. he went from being that to being a terrorist in yemen. that's the bad precedent. 24/7 surveillance can also radicalize. whether it's muslims today or going back to other movements in our history can radicalize and it's poisonous. it doesn't help. we have these negative cases that have produced terrorists. >> we were talking about the edward snowden revelations. one of the things that has happened is those who we are trying to combat have simply moved off the systems we were on before on to less traceable platforms like what's app. constantly migrating new ways of communicating. don't we want to try to track them? >> there's no evidence that edward snowden's revelations played a role in that. edward snowed season for targeted legal surveillance.
what he has exposed is illegal mass surveillance of ordinary americans. when we say our hands are tied, we're buying into this narrative we need to take the gloves off, an ugly expression dick cheney used after 9/11. the balance between security and safety is one we're grappling with. the idea that encryption or that what edward snowden revealed is to blame i think is something ginned up by those whose very policies have failed us by evading iraq, by the disaster in libya, and they're trying to shift the blame. let us find legal tools. and if you look at, you know, mumbai, you look at london, you look at france, we've had, you know, blame those who instigated this. blame our policies. but not roll back of encryption. >> we're at the end but i feel like you wanted to get in. >> it's about finding that balance. it's not we're about to give up surveillance tools or that it's a surveillance state. it's important to know with the
san bernardino attackers, all these policies emerged so quickly. sort of the inception debate reignited again. all this legislation introduced. the fbi director said we don't even know they used encrypted methods. >> san bernardino is important because there's no evidence, no even hint of it, there was a problem with inkipencryption, t problem is the youtube videos of anwr all awlaki they downloaded and listened to. >> we have an organization that's makes theatrical-style movies and we're still attempting to figure out if we can use encryption. thanks very much to malcolm nance and molly o'toole, really appreciate it. up next, the trouble with what's in the water. with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio.
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lead in their blood. the lead contamination has been linked to the city's water supply. meaning water from the tap, water that people drink, that they shower in, that they cook with. water that city officials initially insisted was safe. it turned out the city was wrong and the result has been what flint mayor karen weaver is calling a manmade disaster. a public health emergency that began with an april 2014 cost-cutting decision to switch from using water supplied by the city of detroit to using flint's river as the city's water source. after intense complaints and then protests by flint residents, the water supply decision was reversed. in october of this year, water from detroit began flowing once again into flint. but for some, it was too late. according to flint michigan's hurley medical center, the percentage of the city's infants and children with above average lead levels nearly doubled after
the city began using flint river as its water source. according to the world health organization, the health effects of lead poisoning include red e reduced i.q., shortened attention span and an increase of anti-social behavior. the neurological damage and behavioral effects of lead poisoning are believed to be irreversible. joining me now is a political columnist for "the detroit free press." she's withbeen covering this is for a year. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much for having me. >> let's just sort of make it plain. is flint a place where it is safe today to drink the water? >> so no. the thing when they started taking water from the flint river, the local water treatment plant didn't add a chemical that coats the inside of pipes that might have lead in them. so then when water travels through those pipes, it leeched lead from service pipes and wells into the water. they switched back to the
detroit system which does add that chemical but it takes a while for that coating to rebuild inside the pipes. that process is happening now. right now, i wouldn't drink the water in flint. >> there is, you know, obviously this is one of the most potent neuro toxins there is and we know the damage it can do, particularly to children. now that these health consequences have already happened, how is the city attempting to educate its own citizens as to what they can do now, if there's anything they can do? >> well, so there's been the state and the city have worked together to try to get filters to people, to try to get information to people about what the consequences are, what -- to see how children have been impacted. there's some talk about looking at the impacts. how many people have been affected. and try to make provisions to help them out. this is all still a situation that's unfolding. what's important to understand is when we talk about the city having signed off on the treat
plan or the city telling people the water was safe, the state of michigan, the department of environmental quality, signed off on their water treatment plan. they were involved in telling folks the water was safe to drink. this is a two-level issue. of governmental oversight failure. >> nancy, while you were talking, we were showing a picture of somebody holding a bottle of brown liquid that is the water from flint. i want to play a little clip from a june 2014 local news broadcast in which a resident is talking about their own water. take a listen. >> i don't know how it's clean if it smells and tastes bad. >> this resident can't even remember the city's water tasting this bad. now he's turning to bottled water. >> it's not proper for people to be drinking, man, if i can smell it. this is not a big debate. this is nothing that nobody can figure out. >> and, nancy, you know, if this is something that was signed off on by the water treatment authority, if it was signed off on by the state, what kind of liability are we talking about
here, in terms of financial liability to the citizens of flint? >> that's a question i think that has yet to be answered. this is still very much unfolding here. but the thing that we're still trying to figure out right now is who made the decision to start using flint river water. the local government had voted to switch to a new regional water authority. but the decision to use water from the flint river in the meantime wasn't part of that decision. the state has said it's what the city wanted. the city, there's no record that city officials ever -- ever made that decision or voted on that. and the city was at the time underneath state oversight because of its terrible financial situation. there's a lot still here to unpack. trying to figure out where accountability is, who has responsibility to make things right in terms of future financially for victims affected by lead poisoning. there's a lot of questions to be answered. when the state should have known or knew what was going on. it's -- as public records have become available, we've seen
state officials were e-mailing each other over the summer about knowing lead rates in the water were rising. at the same time that they were assuring folks there was nothing wrong with the water. so there's a lot of stuff -- just a lot of stuff that's still coming to light here it the governor has appointed a task force to sort out some of this campability, figure out what happened. there's other efforts to look into it. i think this is all going to be part of a long process of figuring out who's to blame. >> thankfully there's also an independent set of journalists and media looking into it as well. i suspect you guys will find the answers before the task force. thank you very much to nancy kaffer in detroit. >> thank you. still to come this morning, will there be justice for freddie gray? more nerd land at the top of the hour. oohhh. oh, holiday ferris wheel. i kind of love it. look at those reindeer. jeffrey, you're awfully quiet back there. i was just thinking... maybe it's time we finish this test drive and head back to the dealership? that is so jeffrey... soooo jeffrey...
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the death of freddie gray, ended in a mistrial. after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. officer porter faced charges of manslaughter. second degree assault. reckless endangerment. and misconduct in office. freddie gray died of a severe spinal cord injury. prosecutors say he sustained while being transportsed in back of a police van in april. judge barry williams sent the jury back to keep deliberating. after they deadlocked for the first time on tuesday after a day and a half of deliberations. he finally declared a mistrial wednesday. after the 12 jurors declared themselves to be hopelessly deadlocked on the four charges, again on wednesday. during the two-week trial, the jury heard arguments and testimony from nearly 30 witnesses, including officer porter, who took the stand in his own defense. prosecutors argued that porter was criminally negligent when he failed to belt freddie gray into a seat belt or call for a medic
when gray asked for help. officer porter's defense team contended porter thought gray was faking his injuries and that it was common for officers -- or rare for officers, i should say, to belt suspects in. they also argued it was the driver's responsibility to ensure freddie gray's safety. after the mistrial ruling, attorneys for the prosecutor and defense met privately with the judge to discuss when or if porter will be retried. prosecutors have yet to submit a formal request for a new trial. but a mistrial could complicate the state's plan for a quick resolution in the cases of the other five officers whose individual trials are set to begin in january. a potential retrial could pose a particular challenge for prosecutors who are expected to call porter as a material witness in the upcoming case against the van driver. officer caesar goodson, who
faces the most extreme charge of the officers. a small number of protests took place in the city, with many expressing frustration at the jury's inability to reach a conclusion. joining me murphy, attorney for the family of freddie grape. also, the host of the docket on shift on msnbc it and mark steiner, host of the mark steiner show and the founder for center for eamericmerging media. and joining me, director for research for leaders a beautiful struggle, a baltimore-based grassroots think tank. want to start with you, talk about the reaction of people in baltimore to the failure to reach a verdict in the trial. >> there are a bunch of issues that culminated in the uprise in april, that culminated in freddie gray's death. i think what the trial
represents to a lot of activists and people in the community, it's just a small little bit of justice, given the larger structural issues that created the conditions that fermented the uprising. so people are upset with the fact that in this small instance of justice where people simply want the officers responsible for mr. gray's death to come to justice. it's just frustrating for a lot of people, given the larger systems of injustice that need to be dealt with and the small little instances of injustice. it's going to take so much to effectively pursue. >> mark, what are you hearing from your callers about the case? >> first of all, a lot of us thought from the very beginning this mistrial was going to be a mistrial. >> why did you think that? >> lots of reasons. this is a difficult case to try. there are a lot of things that you can't kind of put at his doorstep. you have to prove evil intent. i'm not a lawyer.
if i'm sitting on a jury and i'm hearing, i have to prove evil intent, what does that mean? i think they've got a really hard time with it. also, the jury reflects baltimore and the split between the white community and the black community and the perception. i think most of our callers are expressing outrage. expressing outrage because this is deep anger inside the black community about -- that's come to the fore, bubbling from the entire nation. and people are very upset and dissatisfied with justice. the whole question of justice. that's what i think has been the biggest response. >> we're talking about exp expectati expectations. judge murphy, you represent the family of freddie gray. were they surprised by the mistry tmi mistrial? >> no, i had warned them of the possibility of that and they were very comfortable that the jury had worked very hard. that it was a cross section of the community. i think there were seven blacks and five whites. >> it was eight blacks, four whites -- >> no, i think it changed.
>> at the end. >> at the end, okay. >> they were philosophical about it. what they want is justice. because they're a unique family, they've sent out the message to the community repeatedly, take this with peace, take this with grace. because everybody's working hard to bring about justice. and their definition of justice is simply a fair trial, where all of the evidence came out, and the judge acted properly and the jury was properly selected and the verdict was the result. the only frustration is there was no verdict. they're not telling anybody what verdict they want. because they believe that's wrong. they believe that that's prejudging rather than judging. >> as a former prosecutor, let's talk about how difficult a hill this was and is to climb for the prosecution. as mark just said, they have to prove, in the case of officer porter, that he had some evil intent toward freddie gray. in fact, when the jurors were
asking questions of the judge, that's one of the notes they were sending back, are definitions of things like evil intent. >> you have to go back and -- i wonder what judge billy thinks, in that -- what is the strategy of the prosecution? you have six defendants. and usually the strategy should be start with your strongest, end with your strongest. and that's not what they did in this case. this was not a strong case. they could have set a better tone for the rest of the trials by either having him cooperate or giving him a good plea. because the whole issue was they needed officer porter's statement against the other two officers, good son and white. that's why they tried him first. not because it was the strongest case. >> if they don't have a conviction against him what is the incentive to take a plea? why not take his chances in court? because for now it's working. >> i agree. they should have made a better deal for him. they weren't making him a good offer, which is why he went to trial, exactly. >> four officers.
can you talk just how rare it is for a police officer to wind up in the position officer porter and these fire other officers are in? because it's not as if police officers get tried that often in cases where a suspect dies in their custody. "the washington post" did a study on april 11th. they talked about police prosecutions. they said among the thousands -- these are shootings. among the thousands of fatal shootings at the hands of a police officer. only 54 officers have been charged. found that most were cleared or acquitted and the cases were otherwise resolved. so this is very rare. >> it is very rare. bow, j but i was in the bronx during the case. but at least the bronx took it head on and quite immediately, as opposed to looking at chicago
and mcdonald where we had to wait a year for the video. even when you prosecute on time, you still aren't guaranteed a just disposition because prosecuting a police officer is like prosecutor your brother or sister when you're a prosecutor. >> i want to try to get him back in. you mentioned amadu diallo. you want to get back in. >> two things. one thing that's really important to put this in context is we shouldn't need a trial. the internal mechanisms of law enforcement should be such that it's beholding to the communities that they police. the other thing is, there are institutional pieces that get in the way that create strategic disadvantages for the prosecution. this is kind of manifestmanifes.
the two elements i want to highlight here. one is, police officers have ten days before they're required to make a statement on the record, right. this was something that those who are in the courtroom said played a role. the fact there were multiple different stories porter had throughout the time between the incident where freddie gray was killed and the trial. the other piece is that only sworn law enforcement can interrogate police officers who have allegedly engaged in excessive force. here you have mechanisms of law enforcement that undermine the public's ability not only to have the substantive ability to administer law enforcement in the communities but undermines the ability to have the transparencety necessary to hold law enforcement accountable. only when we deal with mechanisms that undermine transparency can officers when
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while the freddie gray case brings the question of police violence, a new study fines the civil courts are creating a housing crisis for some of the city's most vulnerable people. nearlyp,000 baltimore families are evicted each year. from the public's justice center, a civil and legal rights group. it's making the highest eviction rates country, second only to detroit, happen in baltimore. they examined cases in the baltimore district court's rent
court docket and found the odds are often stacked against families trying to fight eviction. impoverished families facing few options other than the crumbling stock of housing are often unable to get legal representation. they often lose their cases and their homes, even when they have a strong legal case for refusing to pay. according to the study, nearly 60% of renters had a serious housing defect they reported to their landlord before trial. but only 8% of those renters were able to bring that defense before a judge. the data also shows that the majority of rent court defendants are african-american women who live without public housing assistance on less than $2,000 a month. you said you were very familiar with this rent court process. >> many years ago when i used to try cases for tenants. i wasn't a lawyer. but the issue here, again, a very political question. think of baltimore. baltimore has 99,000 people
looking for public housing, trying to find housing, who don't know how they're going to pay their rent. multiply that number by three or four, you're talking about half the city of baltimore lives in dire poverty. that rent court is the tip of the iceberg of what the problem is. think about freddie gray. freddie gray lived in one of those houses we're talking about. freddie gray was a little boy, peering over, looking out a window. put his mouth on a windowsill. sucked in that lead. destroyed his brain. that's happened over 150,000 times. 90,000 by one study and over 100,000 by another. that's what we're doing to the black children in the city we live in. the rent court is just like the tip of this iceberg. it shows how dire the situations really are. >> we know, judge murphy, in the case of so many baltimore residents who find themselves in that situation, there's the process of a settlement that gets them taken advantage of all over again when that settlement is clawed back again by predator
institutions. >> there are institutions who give you pennies on the dollar if you have an extended payment settlement. that's not fair and we're trying to do something about that. we've come up with a new tactic at the murphy firm. we're now suing these big slumlords because the housing conditions are abominable. the repairs just don't get made. the residents don't know there's a rent escrow law that permits them to hold their rent in escrow to force their landlord to make the repairs necessary. the living conditions are abominable. there is a lack of sensitivity in rent court. a lot of it has to do with the composition of the court. when judges are appointed in maryland, they tend to be mostly white and male. when judges are elected in maryland, they tend to represent the diverse community that they're supposed to be serving. and so that is a much more sensitive court. so we're trying to do something about that. but we have recently sued a slum
landlord who had a huge multiunit development and we're going to bring that landlord to her knees. because these kinds of living conditions shouldn't be anywhere in the world. and they are among the worse in the world. >> talk a little about that. i think for any reporter who covered the freddie gray case and the uprising in baltimore, that was one of the more shocking aspects, walking through west baltimore, walking through the place where freddie gray grew up. talk a little bit about what life is like for people like freddie gray who are growing up in those conditions. >> well, i mean, what the conditions demonstrate is a lack of regard for the humanity of black people. think it's important to recognize this in a larger context. where baltimore's predominantly black city. there's a shift going on that's happened in other cities. baltimore's in the midst of this process. where the displacement of black communities for the purpose of moving in wealthier often white folks into communities that have
been historically divested from, underinvested in. what we see is when we look at the issue of the rent court for me, this is just one part of the larger issue of undermining the living conditions and general welfare of black folks so that other folks can profit from that. we've seen in east baltimore the way that johns hopkins has really changed east baltimore and displaced, you know, hundreds of thousands of people or tens of thousands of people in east baltimore. we see a similar process potentially going on in west baltimore. and a part of the issue is there need to be grassroots independent black organizations that can be in leadership of being able to make political decisions about their communities so proper investments in housing can be made to protect, you know, people's livelihoods. i think that's really what people need to get from this, this investment in the community's capacity to be able to make the proper investments in housing that the community
has control over, that the community has a stake in, is the only way we'll be able to begin to reverse many of the effects of poverty that deal with things like homelessness and deal with things like -- >> this is a city that is run by -- >> 60% -- >> yeah, it's a majority african-american city -- >> that's what we hear from white folks who just don't get it. you have black mayors. why haven't they solved the problem? by the time we get black mayors, the damage has already been done. right after world war ii, the fha gave everybody who was fighting in the war and their families an opportunity to buy homes. except they didn't extent that opportunity to black people. so 95% of the people who were able to use these low interest fha loans to become homeowners for the first time were white. and the black community continued to decline because then we became renters. we didn't own the equity in the home. and when you're a renter, you're always on the defensive because you got to beg your landlord to do this, beg him to do that.
after a while, if the landlord doesn't respect you if the first place because of the color of your skin, things just go downhill. you move from one house to another. you don't have a stable living place. you don't have an investible opportunity where you can have net worth like folks developed right after world war ii. this level of blatant administration is why we have the problem today, because nobody ever undid it. nobody ever leveled the playing field. >> in new york, they now have a program, almost a pro bono program where poor people who can't afford a lawyer at least are represented. >> most of these people who go to rent court don't have representation. >> that's a huge problem. >> part of the city funding, things like the public defender's office, legal aid bureau, they don't have the money to do that work. >> the way you squeeze black people is you cut off the funding to give them that kind of representation that they could not possibly otherwise
afford. >> right. >> when you have a tenant who's coming in against a powerful landlord representative who's well prepared and it's usually a false preparation. and all you have is the word of the tenant, the tenant almost inevitably -- >> i'm going to give dave the last word from baltimore. very quickly. >> in addition to that, what we're finding is there are -- there are individual black elected officials in power but that doesn't translate to the collective power of the black community so the question of resources has to be about building institutions that are accountable to the masses in the community. not just appendages of the democratic party or corporate institutions. but the investment in our own capacity to develop the resources necessary so we can represent ourselves in the public policy arena to address these issues. >> dave, you a bad dude. the nation should know that baltimore is one of the most segregated cities in the country
and that was by design. >> indeed. >> i want to thank -- i wish we had more time. i want to thank dave in baltimore. thank you very much. coming up next, president obama is just beginning to ease into his year-end vacation in hawaii this morning. on his way there, he made a very important stop. that story's next.
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president obama and the first family are in hawaii this morning as they kick off their holiday vacation. before getting there, the president on friday made a stop in san bernardino, california, to meet privately with the families of the victims of the december 2nd mass shooting. >> we met some of these folks, despite the pain and the heartache that they feel, they could not have been more inspiring. and more proud of their loved ones and more insistent that something good comes out of this tragedy.
and many of them are taking initiatives to reach out, to speak out on behalf of community intolerance and treating people with respect. >> for more on the president's meeting with the victim's families in san bernardino, we're joined by nbc's kelly o'donnell who's traveling with the president in hawaii. okay, kelly, what was the response to the president's visit? >> well, joy, one the things that really stands out about that visit, it really lasted longer than expected. the president meeting privately for about three hours. that is a lot of time to have those conversations with the families of the 14 victims, to hear their personal stories, to share the experience of what they've been going through. as you heard the president note, some of those family members obviously talked about the steps they're taking to deal with this in a positive way, to be a
representative to the community. that's something we've seen in other instances where the president has had private meetings with the victims and survivors of these tragic events. where he is able to learn about those who were lost and in the personal terms that only a spouse or parent or child can offer. and at the same time, what the white house tries to create in this is a bit of privacy. meeting in a high school. no cameras in the room. no real reaction in terms of an event. this wasn't a case where the president spoke to the larger community as he did in some other instances where there were mass shootings, for example, this being a terrorist attack. somewhat different circumstances. but the president wanted to add this stop on his way here to hawaii where he and the first family will be noting their time in hawaii as they do every year for the christmas holidays. so this was a way for the president to make that stop, to offer his sort of respects and sympathie sympathies, but also to listen to those family members and then he can of course begin this next
phase here in hawaii where, while the president is on vacation, no president is ever really on vacation, because the concerns of the world, especially in a time of heightened worries about potential terrorist attacks, as we've seen in europe and in this smaller scale attack in san bernardino, that worry continue, even when he is here. so he'll be briefed on a daily basis on all of the concerns that are brought to him with his staff that's also here. he's only been on the ground here in hawaii for about four hours now. there's time to acclimate to the time zone and time for family ahead. joy. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell, thank you. up next, three cities, one similar story. police use deadly force, causing community outrage. the way prosecutors approach their cases is the tale of their very different cities. me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage.
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high-profile cases of deadly police force in their respective cities. all three are democrats. elected with the support of the communities. with the biggest stake in cases involving police violent and their future political prospects are now tied to how those cases play out. there's baltimore's newly elected state's attorney who campaigned on a pledge to enforce police accountability. a pledge she made good on when she announced charges against six officers involved in the arrest of freddie gray. charges that came within weeks of gray's death. moss buy's office was dealt a blow when her prosecutors were unable to secure a verdict against the first of those officers to go to trial. the case ended in a mistrial because of a hung jury. moss buy was just elected last year but the outcome of the cases is leakly to be on the minds of voters considering her husband, nick nmossby's, campaign.
then, she faces a primary challenge next year after being elected to office with the barack obama wave in 2008. her record during that time is under increased scrutiny. since she charged the officer who killed la kwan mcdonald after a 13-month delay it and only after a judge ordered the release of the dash cam footage of the encounter. recent polling suggests that alvar alvarez's handling of the case has cost her the support of black chicago voters as she prepares to face off against two moments in march. last month, she defended the investigation and responded to calls for her resignation. saying, quote, i offer no apologies for enlisting the fbi to investigate laquan's murder because obviously the chicago police department could not investigate themselves in this case. i certainly do not apologize for conducting a meticulous and thorough investigation to build a strongest possible first degree murder case. and there's also ohio's tim
mcdidn'tm mcginty who was the cuyahoga county prosecutor in november 2012 after winning 35% of the vote in a five-way democratic primary. his political prospects look different three years later after he failed to win the democratic party's endorsement this week for his re-election bid. mcginty will enter a primary runoff amid criticism of his handling of the police shooting of 12-year-old tamer rice. which has dragged on for a full year with no resolution. and the judge department is currently reviewing a request for a federal investigation into the shooting at the request of the family. who have accused mcginty of prosecutorial misconduct. mcginty responded to criticism of his decision to release reports that the reto the shooting was reasonable and said, soundry rebutted when our
record of prosecutions against police is reviewed. unquote. the attorney for the family of tamir rice. let's start with you, zoe, and there have been a lot of accusations that tim mcdidn'ty is allowing this case to drag on, and that he is releasing reports that are inherently biased in favor of police. at this point, does the family have any faith in the prosecutor when it comes to seeking justice for their child? >> unfortunately, joy, i think they don't. they began this process very hopeful that there would be justice for tamir who as you noted was a 12-year-old child when he was killed. so this is a family who suffered the greatest loss a family can suffer. and i think that grief is compounded in this case by the way the prosecutor is mishandling the presentation to the grand jury. there's no question that his presentation to the grand jury has been biased in favor of the police in a really shocking way. >> have the two officers testified, to your knowledge, before the grand jury?
>> so what happened, this is one of the examples of why prosecutor mcginty's handling of this case is so improper and unusual, he allowed officers to read prepared statements to the grand jury after taking the oath, and then he didn't cross examine them. or he perhaps sought to cross examine them and they refused to answer questions. rather than go to the court and seek to have their testimony compelled, he failed to to do that. that's just -- it's black letter law. it's been black letter law for a long time that if you take the stand in your own defense and you testify, you waive your fifth amendment right to stay silent. >> talk about the family's objections to these reports that have come out. the prosecutor did release a couple of expert reports that he -- that said that the shooting was justified. what is the family's objection to those reports? >> i think it starts right at the outset with the very idea that a prosecutor would go out and hire so-called expert witnesses to come in and tell
the grand jury that the targets of their investigation committed no crime and acted in a way that was justified and reasonable. i mean, think how crazy that is, right? prosecutors don't do that. this is a police case. the targets of the investigation are police officers. because of that, prosecutor mcginty has taken this unusual step of hiring three so-called experts who have come in and told the grand jury that no crime was committed here. and that's just unthinkable. the family has been very critical of that. the whole idea of using experts in that way is just unthinkable in a nonpolice case. >> is this unusual? >> oh, my god, it's bananas. especially because experts in any capacity are not supposed to make the ultimate conclusion of law, right. >> absolutely. >> they just give the facts. they give a reasonable degree of scientific certainty or what have you, whatever their field is. but they can't rule on the law is what you're saying happened. >> i want to talk a little bit about tim mccdidn'ty and put hi
in the context. he got 35% of the vote. he won by a 15-point margin in a democratic primary in 2012, the year of course that president obama was re-elected. he's been -- he's an 18-year veteran. he spent more than 18 years as a common pleas court judge. this typime, he's not endorsed r his re-election. he's attempting to get re-elected in cuyahoga county with is 60% white, 30% african-american, 5% latino. and i'm wondering if -- what are tim mcginty's incentives? because this is a prosecutor elected on a law and order platform. not elected as somebody who is vowing to hold police accountable. >> this happens all over the country. and i think it's not just tim mcginty alone, it's the entire system and the way it's been working for poor people, especially people of color, especially in the black community. these happen -- i don't know about the --
>> well, when you say political inventives, chris christie used to be a prosecutor. political incentives. everything is open. you can go anywhere from there. so that's the answer. >> i think the problem is deeper. we have to confront race. especially cuyahoga county. when you have a county that is predominantly white, they have a difference experience with the police. they see officer friendly. we see officer unfriendly. so this is not something that they can properly, in a balanced way, process. and then when you add race to the equation. because some of these people are racist. then you have a really toxic mix that keeps you getting these prosecutors are going to cover up what's going on in the black community because it's not in their political best interest to do anything else. >> let's talk about in that instance how do you account for an anita alvarez who's also been heavily criticized for her term in office, but she is governing in a city, cook county, where chicago is located that is only
43% white, that is 25% latino and 24% african-american -- >> but isn't chicago historically corrupt? so that's one thing. another thing -- >> every city's corrupt. >> no, when she says she can't -- had to bring the fbi in to investigate because how can we investigate ourselves. that's not true. prosecutor's office, every prosecutor's office, has its own investigative body. you get that investigative body to investigate the police. >> chicago is a little unique because ram -- >> the mayor, rahm emanuel. >> covered it up too. >> right. >> he's now facing dismal re-election prospects. he may have to be forced to resign. i think there was a deal between the two of them this wasn't the time during a re-election season to talk about something that could have forced both of them out of office for inaction. in addition, this is a bogus excuse from her. because the tape tells it all.
you don't need an investigation in this case. there are some cases that actually tell the whole story right on the tape. this is one of them. she talks about letting the fbi investigate it, wrong. when she talks about not having the internal mechanism to investigate police, wrong. this isn't a case that required any of that. >> we are essentially out of time. i want to give zoe the last word. i will say the mayor denies they had anything to do with -- >> nobody believes it. >> just want to throw that out there. what does the family hope to gain by having the feds come in and take over the investigation? >> justice for tamir. a real investigation that's not biased and skewed in favor of the police officers. i think this is a great point. tamir's case is also one that is caught on video. it shows the police officers pulling u and shooting this child within one second. the idea it would take a year to investigate is really incredible. i think really it shows they used that year to try to find
these so call experts who would exonerate the officers. >> it's bogus and nobody is fooled in the black community. >> we are out of time. i want to thank all of you for being here especially zoe, please pass along our continued condolences to the family. it's christmastime so as a mom, your heart bleeds for her, so thank you so much for being here. >> and keep up the good work. >> thank you. >> thank you to all our panelists. up next, the story of a christmas carol. gotta take a sick day tomorrow.
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past, present and future. dickens was falling deeper and deeper into debt as he struggled to support his large family. his own childhood had been mired in poverty. when his family fell on hard times, his father was sent to debtors prison. while 12-year-old charles was sent to work ten hours a day in a shoe factory. that experience would shape his work. after delivering a pivotal speech to working families in october of 1843, he was inspired to write a christmas carol. what better way to highlight the tale of the working poor than with a stingy boss who is shown the error of his ways and makes amends to his mistreated employee? dickens worked to complete the book in time for the holidays. when it was published, a christmas carol was an instant success. there were live stage performances in london.
the book helped popularize the celebration of christmas, which, until then, was sort of a ba h m humbug affair in england. the story helped promote the idea of christmas as a time for giving to the less fortunate. with its iconic characters like scrooge, tiny tim, a christmas carol has remained an enduring classic and has never gone out of print. and it's been further immoralized on the big and small screens in countless ways. there are the celebrated classical renditions like the 1951 film version. >> who and what are you? >> i am the gohost of christmas past. >> past? >> your past. >> what is your business here with me?
>> rise and walk with me. >> there are also more comedic takes onhe story. bill murray may have been the funniest miser in the 1988 film "scrooged." >> that was a good one. you are going to be visited by three ghosts tomorrow at noon. >> tomorrow's bad for me. as a matter of fact, the whole rest of the week. >> and the message of a christmas carol is always effective, whether delivered by movie stars or muppets. >> oh, mr. scrooge, you be very merry and happy this day, i have no doubt. >> cheers. >> god bless us, every one. ♪ life is full of sweet surprises ♪ ♪ every day's a gift >> little kermie. no matter which version is your favorite or how many times you read a christmas carol, its
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we have been talking this morning about the challenges that face the city of baltimore. and one way citizens can affect local policy is by voting. one woman has been urging african-american to vote. keisha robinson is a 32-year-old baltimore native and she founded black girls vote. it is to bring together black women and engage them and empower them to vote. black girls vote has had events at a high school and senior citizen homes. she is also hoping to partner with the nail salon, and
churches and day care centers so that women can learn about the issues wherever they are. and i want to first of all make sure that i am pronouncing your name right? >> ni-keed-ra. >> yes, you can call me nike. >> what prompt ed this organization? >> well, we saw the look of facelessness and hopelessness on the face of others, and so i said, where are we, and what can we do to empower them, and that is voting n. 2016, it is a big city not only for the city of baltimore, but nationally, and there is power in the vote, so i said, let's get together, and for black women, we vote alre y already, and it is a concrete fact that black women vote, and it is a call to action and our civic duty to vote, and that is it, black girls vote, and let's go. >> and nyke, what issues are you
seeing that black women are saying are the most important to them? >> well, my gosh, our platform is based on those issue, and first is education. we have to advance the educational systems here in the city of baltimore, and also, economic opportunities. we know that african-american women, we start businesses at higher rates than any others, and we need help to start the businesses, and last but not least is advancing and improving our access to quality health care. >> and nyke, we know that there is a lot of talk in baltimore about the criminal justice system, and policing, and are you hearing those kinds of i issues coming up when you are talking to women about voting? >> absolutely. some people are discouraged, but we are telling them that there is power in the vote, and the vote is your voice, because everything that you do, whether it is policing that is happening in your neighborhood, and whether it is your streets getting repaf and the interactions and the things that the politicians do, and also what our police department is doi doing, and it is all impacted by policy, and once we educate
them, we will see that, oh, wow, they get it, and so what we have to do is to talk to them in laymen's terms in a second-grade level. and some of the girls that is who we are targeting the 18 to 25-year-olds, because they are not being targeted and the elected officials don't pay them attention, but we call them our sleeping giants, because our women here in baltimore are smart and powerful and beautifu beautiful. >> we know that you live in a city that has a current black woman mayor, and the front rrunr for the next mayor is also a black woman, and the state's attorney is also a black woman, and you are not only doing black girls vote, but black girls get elected, so thank you for what you are doing, and keep up the great work. >> thank you so much. >> nyki from baltimore. and i will see you tomorrow right here at 9:00 a.m. >> thank you so much, joy. it was fun to see you.
and now, what are we go oing the be learning about longer than expect expected. >> and we will talk about the contention of the democrat eic presidential debates tonight. >> and also, what is new with "star wars"? ttle more, to yourself. i am running for my future. people sometimes forget to help themselves. the cause is retirement, and today thousands of people came to race for retirement and pledge to save an additional one percent of their income. if we all do that we can all win. prudential bring your challenges® theand the kids always eat sky their vegetables.e. because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch.
good day to all of you and welcome to weekends with alex witt. a fight within the democratic party could spill over into the democratic debate, but who is going to be watching the saturday before christmas anyway? that is what two of the contenders are asking. >> and president obama recounts the memories of the victims of the san bernardino shooting, and the takeaway. and it could be a white christmas and messy one. look at that pileup in the midwest. and where is that snow headed ne next? >> and what would you do if you found a $32,000 canvass